Making it through Tiger Woods' rehabilitation from knee surgery will require strength, patience and perseverance and that's just from golf fans. So in an effort to keep all of you from slipping into that ugly TW withdrawal you normally reserve for November, we figured it would be helpful to give a glimpse of what lies ahead for Tiger over the next four to six weeks.
Or maybe eight.
Deep breaths, everyone
Day 1: A still groggy Tiger asks to see the highlights from his recent Masters victory.
Day 3: Tiger's bandages are removed during his first post-op appointment. Doctors are relieved when Woods doesn't notice the V-shape arthroscopic scars look vaguely like the Callaway ball logo.
Day 4: Van Halen performs at TigerJam XI, Tiger's annual Las Vegas fundraiser. Out of sensitivity to Woods, David Lee Roth replaces "Jump" in the set list with "Drop Dead Legs."
Day 5: Refusing pain medication, Tiger instead soothes himself by watching a YouTube video of Rory Sabbatini getting harassed by a kangaroo.
Day 6: Stealing a page from Phil Mickelson, Tiger is seen using two drivers, but only because the cleaning lady has misplaced his crutches.
Day 7: Doctors give Tiger the green light to start putting as long as he doesn't bend his knee. Woods is excited 'til he realizes he'll have to buy one of those suction cups for the end of his putter grip.
Day 9: Tiger is surprised to learn caddie Steve Williams is recuperating from arthroscopic surgery on his elbow, an injury brought on by years of high-fiving, flag-raising and camera-throwing.
Day 14: Without leaving his golf cart, Tiger shoots 78 to beat Isleworth neighbor Craig Parry.
Day 16: The bad news: With inflammation now gone, doctors say the range of motion in Tiger's left knee is still only 50 percent. The good news: That's equivalent to 100 percent for most other tour players.
Day 18: Tiger plays golf in the backyard with his 10-month-old daughter, Sam. Comes away impressed when she uses her plastic Snoopy club to hit a cut fade about 225 yards into the wind.
Day 20: Ernie Els calls. Tells Woods that as part of his three-year plan to catch him, he's prepared to have another knee surgery -- just to remain even in one statistical category.
Day 22: When Tiger threatens to come back in time for the Players Championship, agent Mark Steinberg breaks out a calculator and tells him he can sit out until the 2045 Buick Invitational without losing his No. 1 spot on the Official World Golf Ranking.
Day 24: Tiger receives a "Get Well Soon" card from Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger.
Day 25: Tiger receives a "Get Well Now" card from PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem.
Day 26: Physical therapist says Woods may resume normal activity. When Tiger signs up for the Windermere Triathlon, therapist is forced to define what "normal" means.
Day 28: Shipment of specially-made XXXXS mock turtleneck shirts arrives from Nike, perfect for the new "Incredible Hulk" move he plans to use after missing makeable birdie putts.
Day 30: After losing to virtual Tiger Woods in his '08 video game, a disappointed Tiger proclaims 10 more days of rehab.
Day 31: In an effort to recreate U.S. Open conditions, Tiger tells gardener to stop mowing the lawn.
Day 33: Tiger knows he's better when, for the first time in over two years, it doesn't actually sting to hit a stinger.
Day 35: Tiger pulls range cart 100 yards with just his teeth. Coach Hank Haney pronounces him "almost ready."
Day 37: While watching the AT&T Classic from his couch, Tiger comes to the realization that pro golf is pretty boring without Tiger Woods.
Day 40: When Tiger sees the odds of him winning the U.S. Open has swelled to 2-to-1, he pulls off the "Incredible Hulk" maneuver, plies the suction cup off his putter and tells Jack Nicklaus to save him a spot at the Memorial.
Bob Smiley is a TV writer and a contributor to ESPN.com's golf coverage. He also writes the golf blog Fore Right and currently is writing a book about following Tiger Woods for all of 2008. He can be reached at Bobsmiley77@gmail.com.